Khandala Hill Station and Bhaja and Karla Rock-cut Buddhist Caves

Khandala is a hill station is near Lonavala hill station in Maharashtra state, India.

Khandala Valley
Khandala Valley

Khandala hill station is located on the Bhor Ghat, which lies in between the Konkan plains and the Deccan Plateau.

This hill station is famous for hiking to Duke’s Nose, which offers excellent view of Khandala and Bhor Ghats. Tiger’s Leap is a tourist spot which appear as a tiger leaping into the valley.

Amrutanjan Point, Karla caves and Bhaja caves (Rock-cut Buddhist Caves), Bhushi Lake, etc, are some of the other prominent tourist attractions here.

There is an Ancient Jail at this hill station, which was built in 1896.

Chaitya (prayer hall) at Bhaja CavesChaitya (prayer hall) at Karla Caves

Karla caves are 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD rock-cut caves. The famous “Grand Chaitya” inside  Cave 8 is “the largest and most completely preserved” chaitya hall (prayer hall) of the period.  It is also known by different names like Karli Caves, Karle Caves and Karla Cells.

BhajaBhaja Caves

Bhaja Caves are a group of 22 rock-cut caves, which dates back to 2nd century BC.  It is also known as or Bhaje caves.

How Do I Go to Khandala Hill Station?

Khandala Hill Station is at around 3 kilometers from Lonavala, a famous hill station on the Western Ghats. Mumbai – Pune Expressway connects this hill station to Mumbai and Pune cities. Karjat is at around 7 kilometers away from this hill station.

Khandala railway station (next station to Lonavla station) is the nearest railway station. there are suburban trains between Lonavala and Pune stations. Pune International airport is the nearest airport.

Kalpa Hill Station Known for Its Buddhist Monasteries and Handicrafts

Kalpa is a small hill station town in Sutlej Valley, Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh, famous for its apple orchards, ancient temples and Buddhist monasteries.

Kalpa
Kalpa Hill station Town in H.P.

Most people follow both Buddhism and Hinduism and many temples have deities of both religions.

The town is situated at an average altitude of 2,960 meters or 9,711 feet. Pine-nut forests, Deodars, etc, are seen in plenty here.

Shivling rock, part of the Kailash mountains, which changes its colours throughout the day, can be seen from this hill station town.

Shyam Saran Negi, who was the first voter to cast his vote in the 1951 general elections, belongs to Kalpa.

There is a famous ancient Goddess Chanadika Devi temple at Kothi village, at 3 kilometers from Reckong Peo, the district headquarters and the downtown to Kalpa town. Kinner Kailash mountain ranges is another interesting place, a land known for its myths and fantasies. Suicide Point is another tourist spot at around 10 minutes walk from the town. Batseri village on your way-up is famous for handicrafts.

The village has an ancient Lord Buddha temple and a Lord Badri Narayan temple. Sapni fort is also an important tourist destination known for its outstanding architecture.

How Do I Go to Kalpa?

Kalpa town can be reached from the district head quarters, Reckong Peo. Reckong Peo is at around 260 kilometers from Shimla, the state capital.

Match to September are ideal months to visit this hill station town. Other months are extremely cold and should be avoided.

Buddhist Heritage Village Called Yuksom Where Three Lamas Established Dubdi Monastery

Yuksom is a beautiful Heritage village and Hill Station in Sikkim state, India. It was the capital city of the erstwhile Chogyal dynasty, who ruled the area for 333 years, starting from 1642 AD till 1975.

Yuksom, a Hill station town in SikkimYuksom, a Hill station town in Sikkim.

This area is known for its pristine beauty. It is also known the ‘Meeting place of Three Lamas’, as the three Lamas assembled here in 1641 and selected the first monarch of the Chogyal dynasty in 1642. The monarch was given the title “Chogyal”, which means ‘religious king’. Lutsum Chembo, Sempa Chembo and Rinzing Chembo were the three Tibetan Buddhist monks who assembled here in 1641.

The first monarch was crowned at Norbugang near Yuksom. The coronation site of the first Chogyal King, Phuntsog Namgyal and several other Chogyal monarchs are situated here. Yuksom was elected as the first capital city by Phuntsog Namgyal, the first Chogyal King. Chogyal monarchy had 12 Monarchs, from 1642 to 1975.

Dubdi Monastery alias Hermit’s Cell, the first & oldest monastery in Sikkim is situated here. Dubdi Monastery was established in the year 1701 by the Chogyals. It takes around one hour’s walk from Yuksom. Mallu Monastery, a smaller Monastery, is also situated here.

This hill station town is the top station of Khangchendzonga National Park. Yuksom and the surrounding Kanchenjunga Himalayam mountain ranges are famous for trekking. Its also the base camp for Kanchenjunga trekking by Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and is best suited for adventure holidays. Adventure tourists can go for trekking to different places like Tashiding or Dzongri peak or Goecha La alias Goechala from here.

How Do I Go to Yuksom Buddhist Heritage Village?

The nearest airport is at Bagdogra at around 170 kilometers distance, in the nearby West Bengal state. New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station in West Bengal state, is the nearest railway station at around 150 kilometers away which takes around 6 to 7 hours drive. Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim state is at around 123 kilometers away.